My husband and I went to college at the same time, and we paid for it through a combination of part-time work, Pell grants, Stafford loans, and very frugal living.
However, the main reason I am posting this is to encourage you to work as a nursing assistant at least part time or PRN while you are in school. If you don't feel that you can commit to that, then volunteer at a hospital. You will gain valuable experience, make useful contacts, and build your resume in preparation for your job search
. I really hope that employment prospects will improve by the time you graduate, but you must not count on it. Do what you can now to give yourself the best possible chance of securing your first job. Find opportunities to make yourself stand out.
I did not work in health care during school, and I am now in a position where I have to try to build my resume as an unemployed new grad, which is much more difficult. I thought that focusing on my grades was the right thing to do, but it wasn't enough. No one cares that I graduated Summa Cum Laude and had top HESI scores. I'm not saying that grades don't matter, because I still think they do, but I wish I could go back in time and also work as a CNA and volunteer. Now, seventeen months after graduation, I'm still looking for my first nursing position.